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What you need to know about renter's insurance

Published On: Dec 12 2012 10:28:37 AM CST
Updated On: Dec 27 2012 02:59:11 PM CST
neighborhood, house

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(NewsUSA) - If you are thinking about renting, there are many questions that might be on your mind, such as whether you'll have a good landlord, what your neighbors will be like and how you'll come up with the money for your security deposit. With all this to consider, it can be easy to overlook the obvious -- like renters insurance.

"Renters insurance satisfies a real need that many renters don't even realize they have. For example, a small kitchen fire or an unattended candle can easily cause thousands of dollars in damage," said Kathy McDonald, senior vice president, Assurant Specialty Property.

For instance, according to the National Fire Protection Association's latest figures, residential structure fires accounted for $7.1 billion in property damage in 2010 -- an average of nearly $18,500 per fire.

If you're looking to rent a house or apartment, here's what you need to know about renters insurance:

* Renters insurance is affordable and easily fits into your budget, no matter how tight it is. Renters can easily protect their belongings and enjoy peace of mind for as little as $4 a week.

* As a renter, you are financially responsible for damage to your unit if it's a result of negligence -- such as fire, smoke or water damage (via plumbing or AC issues, not flooding due to excessive rain).

* Many property managers now are requiring renters to have liability coverage. And renters insurance includes a liability component in case a mistake or accident of yours causes damage to a neighboring unit. Liability insurance also can cover injuries if someone is hurt in your home and needs medical attention.

* Some renters insurance policies cover burglary, lost or stolen luggage while you're traveling and even items taken from your car.

* If you move, policies can be transferred to new communities and locations without a lapse in coverage.

And for those renters who are worried about making their security deposit, there is some help. Many apartment communities offer residents the option of making a one-time bond premium payment instead of putting down an expensive security deposit, with a program such as SureDeposit.

Renters insurance is an easy, affordable way for renters to protect what they own. Replacing your belongings after a fire or other disaster can be a costly burden. Why buy the same TV twice? With the right renters insurance program, you don't have to.